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7-year-old Zainab Ansari’s killer to be hanged next week, Pakistan court rules

Mohammed Amin shows a picture of his 7-year-old daughter Zainab Ansari in Kasur, Pakistan.

Islamabad: Authorities at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail are preparing to hang convicted killer Imran Ali on October 17, after a court issued papers authorising his execution.

A Pakistani Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Friday issued the death warrant for Ali, who gained international notoriety for the rape and murder of 7-year old Zainab Ansari in Kasur.

Ali was also accused of the rape and murder of seven other minors in the same region.

The serial offender was handed the death sentence by the ATC on February 17 almost a month after the Zainab incident.

Later, his appeals were rejected by other courts, including the High Court and Supreme Court.

The President of Pakistan also rejected his mercy petition.

It took almost eight months for the due legal process to be completed since his conviction.

Besides the death penalty, Ali was also sentenced to life in prison, in addition to a seven-year jail term and a fine of Rs4.1 million (Dh115,041).

In January, Zainab went missing and later her body was found on a heap of rubbish on January 9, 2018.

A medical report confirmed rape and murder, sparking outrage and protests across the country.

It was the twelfth such case of child rape and murder reported from that city.

The riots and protests in the city resulted in the death of two people.

Later, amid massive public pressure and condemnation from civil society, the Punjab government took extraordinary measures and carried out a hi-tech forensic investigation, finally tracing Ali with the help of DNA evidence.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar had also taken suo motu of the case and directed the police to carry out swift result-oriented investigation.

Police had claimed that Ali was involved in the rape and murder of eight minor girls and his arrest was a major breakthrough in solving the cases.

One of the victims, a 9-year old minor girl is reported to be still in comma and under treatment in a Lahore hospital.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan had rejected Alo’s appeal against conviction on June 12.

The convict was said to be a family friend of the girl and she took him as an elder on the street. However, taking advantage of her trust he took her to a solitary place and committed the heinous act.

During close monitoring of the CCTV footage police conducted a DNA test and matched his sample. Zainab’s parents at the time of the incident were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

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